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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Keep Calm and Let Go

Do you ever just have that lingering uneasy, nervous, anxious feeling? Because I do. Right now, actually. I can kind of feel it in my throat. In my chest a little. I know the feeling. I'm learning what it means, slowly, but surely, in this motherhood journey.

It's the feeling of letting go.

I remember right after I had Emeline, I had this overwhelming sense of needing to protect her at all times. In my post-baby-hormonal state, I sat in the nursery chair, staring into my tender, sweet, newborn baby eyes and thought, how can I keep all the bad in the world away from her?

I cried, actually. Worrying that one day I'll have to let go. One day I'll have no idea what happens behind the closed doors at school. Who bullies her. How she's influenced. That a boy could break her heart. And it hurt because there's a part of me that wants to cling to her and keep her in a little tight bubble with all the happy!things!, always.

The rational side of me knows that wasn't possible, and even if it was, isn't necessarily the right way, anyway. But that's how I felt at the time.

Flash forward to now.

My sweet first newborn baby is now a toddler. A much more independent, social, chatty toddler. And little bit by bit I can see that I'm needing to let go, despite the anxious fight I can feel inside my chest.

No one ever told me that little things, like her first swim class alone with just the instructor (and not me beside her) was going to feel this big. Or that the opportunity to send her to a 2.5 year preschool program would cause such a conflict in my mind, when I know, ultimately, she'll thrive. No one told me that motherhood is such an emotional one. With the constant thought of, is this best for them? for us? for their future? 

Or maybe they did. And I just couldn't fully grasp it until I was there. Here. A mother. Making decisions and processing with my husband what's best for my kid. Like parents do. Feeling that anxious on-the-sidelines momma feel at swim class this morning. But I'm not in there to protect her. 

Pre-school, at this age. Is it best for her? Will she do ok? Will the kids be nice? Will she be nice? Who will help her on the swings? Will she be safe?

It's in all these little anxious moments that I hear a quiet whisper. When I allow my mind to shut the heck up for a few minutes, He whispers to me. I'm her protector, Katie. She's mine. I knit her together in your womb. I created her. I'm watching all the time. You're her earthly guardian, but I'm her ultimate guardian. Just chill out already, I've got this.

In the end, I know it's true. God appointed us to be these girls' parents here on earth. He did. But ultimately, we're His. They're His. And all I can do is remind myself of that.

***

I know one day when we're making really big decisions...filling out college applications, worrying about boyfriends, and best friend fights, all of this stuff will feel like pish-posh. But it isn't. In this moment, that isn't how it feels. As a momma I just want to do what's best for my kid. I also know, in the rational part of my brain, that I cannot keep her from hurt. I can't keep her from heartache. Heck, I can't keep her from falling on the playground and scraping her knee.

It's not possible.

Letting go for me is trusting God. Trusting that without me, in the pool, she'll be okay. Trusting that she'll thrive in a preschool environment two mornings a week. Trusting that she'll be taken care of.

Letting go is trusting.





19 comments:

  1. I'm totally at the same place and was just talking to my pastors wife about this yesterday. I'm learning how to let go and let God handle my worries and anxieties (I'm a new Christian, so stil learning these things). It's such an internal battle of wanting our children to experience life, fun, opportunities for growth etc and then there's this nagging feeling of needing and wanting to hold their hand through everything to prevent anything bad, scary or sad from happening. Trusting in Him to protect our children is key but diffiult all at the same time. You're not alone. :)

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  2. It really is hard and I have to constantly put the brakes on being to over protective and just have faith. I struggle with my beliefs sometimes, but I do have faith and I pray that I am following the plan that has been created for me and that I am doing what I am supposed to do to help her become a strong, proud woman. But man it is tough to let go! Totally right there with you!!!

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  3. Gah, I have anxiety now! I'm still clinging on to Phoebe like nobody's business. The thought of a boy ever breaking her heart makes me not want to let her ever date. The thought of bullies at school makes me want to homeschool. I am obviously not to the point of letting go yet. I know our Heavenly Father is there for us, for her, I know that with every fiber of my being, but it's so hard to tell that momma bear inside to go into hibernation. I so understand your feelings on this subject!

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  4. I get my anxious feeling in my belly. Depending on the location, depends on what the outcome will be. Higher up, better outcome, lower down, awful outcome.

    But letting go? Is awesome and awesomely hard all the same. But guess what? You're doing pretty awesome, if I do say so my instagram/blog/twitter stalking self. Well, not stalking so much as it is following, but toe-mate-toe, toe-ma-toe.

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  5. This is just beautiful. And I can fully understand what you're talking about. Even though I'm just a new mother of a 2 week old little boy, there are things every day that change about him and moments that I will never be able to have again. We just need to remember these moments and cherish them.

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  6. Oh man, I know those worries all too well! But the part you wrote about them ultimately being God's, that is what I needed to hear and made me tear up. For as wildly as we love our daughter(s), He loves us like that and more. And like that, I felt a peace about it and my anxiety eased. Im sure I'll have to remind myself of this daily(hourly some days)!!

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  7. First of all, I'm totally jealous of the big-girl swim class and 2.5 year old preschool program for Eme! I *wish* we had access to those sorts of things for Lizzy, because I think she'd absolutely love them.

    But I still totally get this post. Seriously, every time Lizzy is in the car with someone other than me, I have this moment of straight-up panic--the what-if's abound. I'm constantly having to remind myself that I can't wrap her in bubble wrap 24/7. I can't make sure she'll never get hurt or that nothing bad will happen to her. But I still want to try sometimes ;)

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  8. I understand all too well. I worry so much for Noah sometimes. If kids bully him, how will he tell me? What's best for him... public, private, homeschool? Just a lot of what if's for me.

    I actually get on B sometimes because he has trouble trusting God with work and finances (typical guy worries). But I don't always acknowledge MY lack of trust that God is perfectly able (and much better than I) at watching over Noah and protecting him.

    Geez, between you and Susan, I'm getting all sorts of life lessons figured out this week. lol.

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  9. Gah! CRYING! I can relate on so many levels! I have anxiety attacks about the food allergies so often, and I hear His voice too. Love this and you.

    P.S. I had a moment of "should G be with me every moment?" when I walked him out of his preschool today. But it hit me that his teachers have ideas and thoughts that I never would. Is it for everyone? Nope. But you'll know if it's right for you guys. XOXO

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  10. Seriously? *gush* Trusting can be so easy sometimes and so hard other times. It's so easy to think about all of the bad things that can happen...but you're right, we absolutely have to let go and trust...as scary as it is sometimes.

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  12. Beautifully said. I have tears reading this and it's not even 7am. It's so true. Being a mama is hard and we just have to know that He will watch over our babies when we can't.

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  13. I really needed to read this yesterday. My oldest started preschool this week and I have been struggling soo much! She's been with me every day for almost 4 years...and with her peanut allergy especially, it's so hard to let go and trust someone else with her. I needed this reminder to trust in God and it's good to know I'm not alone!

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  14. I'm 17 years old, right in the middle of university applications, and I can assume you this feeling has never faltered for my mom. She would disagree with you though, the way she felt when I was Emeline's age doesn't seem like pish-posh at all now, in the same way that what she's feeling now won't feel like pish-posh on my wedding day. The situations change, but I don't think a mama's heart ever does.

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  15. Oh motherhood! It definitely throws you through an emotional roller coaster. It is truly amazing to have friends who have been through it all to be by your side & be your village!
    And most of all God's goodness, grace, compassion he'll majorly too!!
    Beautiful post Katie!

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  16. Never thought about it like that! When I read the part about her doing swim lessons without you in the pool I got a little panicked too! They grow up so fast!

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  17. Well said. He is the one to trust.

    Also, I think it was a little easier for me to "let got" with my boys than it has been with K. For some reason it's just a bit different with girls... oh AND my last 'baby'... ;)

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  18. Such a beautiful post! And your mama heart is just precious.

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  19. I love your heart! I feel like I could have written the exact same post. Brayden started preschool and I KNOW it will benefit him, but I am lonely (a little) without him! It's a tough season!

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